UCS murals to depict seasonal art for hospital

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published February 25, 2015

 The word “Believe” is written below a tree on a winter mural scene designed by Morgan Elementary School. The mural will eventually be displayed at Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

The word “Believe” is written below a tree on a winter mural scene designed by Morgan Elementary School. The mural will eventually be displayed at Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Photo provided by Utica Community Schools

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When the Detroit Medical Center and the Children’s Hospital of Michigan envisioned adding art to the upcoming children’s hospital in Troy, they decided to employ a mix of glass and class.

Students from Utica Community Schools have been working hard on designing five mosaic glass murals that each take a different perspective on the four seasons.

Within the school district, Morgan Elementary School, Beacon Tree Elementary School, Harvey Elementary School and Shelby Junior High School have each been tasked with designing a mural. UCS high school National Art Honor Society students are making their own. 

Karen Borbolla, Morgan art teacher and UCS K-12 art department chair, said UCS art teachers had previously worked with DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit on an “Under the Sea” ceramic mural project at the hospital’s Detroit location in 2012.

Now that Children’s Hospital of Michigan is building a new location in Troy called the David K. Page Building, UCS has been asked once again to participate in decorating a hospital with fun art that can amuse patients and visitors.

Borbolla said Morgan’s mural — about 2 feet by 7 feet — is based on a winter theme. The composition uses symmetrical snowflakes that students designed.

In February, UCS students had a role in putting the glass on the mural after it had been cut by professional artists.

Matthias Krenzer, art teacher at Harvey Elementary School, said Harvey students decided to do a mural that represents all four seasons, depicted through the illustration of four children, with each representing a season.

“Since it was going up in a hospital, one of them is bald to represent a kid undergoing chemotherapy, and another kid has an eye patch,”  Krenzer said. “So it was a pretty brilliant idea on their part.”

He said the students submitted their design in December, which gave the professional artists time to cut out glass pieces that can be glued onto the mosaic. The students’ work will then eventually be displayed to make an impression on the hospital’s guests, Krenzer said.

“We know that art helps patients heal faster, and that’s the philosophy of Children’s Hospital,” he explained. “And it’s just a great thing to be a part of it.”

The Children’s Hospital of Michigan — Troy, David K. Page Building is expected to open later in 2015.

Learn more about Utica Community Schools by visiting www.uticak12.org or by calling (586) 797-1000. Find out more about Children’s Hospital of Michigan by visiting www.childrensdmc.org.

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